By Dr. Janet Pandan
The Association of Philippine Orthodontists (APO) has always upheld high standard of excellence in Orthodontic treatment. This commitment extends to all patients who seek better smiles.
Looking back 10 years ago, it was no surprise when APO partnered with Our Lady of Peace Craniofacial Center (OLPCC), a center dedicated in providing comprehensive treatment and care to individuals with cleft lip & palate and other craniofacial deformities.
Last May 2005, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by then APO President Dr. Sandy Adriano, APO President-Elect Dr. Jose Rivera, past OLPCC President Dr. Glenda de Villa and OLPCC volunteer Orthodontist Dr. Janet Pandan.
With the signing of this agreement, APO will subsidize the Orthodontic materials and diagnostic records (Panoramic and Lateral Cephalometric radiographs) needed by the indigent cleft and craniofacial patients.
Since then, APO and OLPCC have been working hand in hand in providing the Orthodontic needs of 150 patients. The beneficiaries of this collaboration are not only those with cleft, but also patients with craniofacial deformities (e.g. hemimandibular hyperplasia) and those with malocclusion secondary to trauma (vehicular accident, burn).
Volunteer doctors of OLPCC have given lectures and shared their knowledge in cleft care in the APO quarterly meetings. They emphasized the important role of Orthodontists in the multidisciplinary management of individuals with cleft and other craniofacial deformities. The other specialists involved in the cleft team are Plastic Surgeons, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, General Dentists, Pediatric Dentists, Speech Pathologists, Pediatrician and Geneticist.
Last February 2013, APO and OLPCC, in cooperation with Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), and with two of OLPCC’s key sponsors, Smile Train and Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation (NCF) Taiwan, a Naso-Alveolar Molding (NAM) Workshop was held in Makati City which focused on the management of infants with cleft lip & palate. The highlight of the seminar was the hands-on workshop on the fabrication of the pre-surgical NAM appliance for unilateral cleft lip & palate patients.
The Orthodontic care of these patients continue until adulthood, and in more severe cases where the malocclusion cannot be corrected by Orthodontics alone, Orthognathic surgery is recommended.
Shown below is one of APO’s beneficiaries. She was born with Unilateral Cleft Lip & Palate. She received comprehensive dental and Orthodontic treatment and underwent Orthognathic surgery to correct her Class 3 malocclusion.
Quoting Dr. Samuel Noordhoff, a world-renowned Plastic Surgeon and philanthropist, and founder of Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundaion , which supports OLPCC : “Changing a child’s appearance goes far beyond patching a hole to impact his entire life. It promotes confidence, gratitude to society, and it helps him better understand love and how to share love with others when he grows up.”
The successful and fruitful partnership between APO and OLPCC has not only brought countless smiles to the patients. It has changed their lives. It has given them far beyond better smiles and appearance, and that is confidence and courage to face society.
10 years of making patients smile…and counting! Looking forward and looking ahead to more years for APO and OLPCC!